Thursday, February 19, 2004

Case of the Unnamed Elementary School Prinicipal

Case of the Elementary School Prinicipal 
Haifa, Israel

Convicted of sexually abusing students, aged eight to eleven.

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Table of Contents: 

  1. Supreme Court finds school principal guilty of sexual abuse (02/19/2004)


Supreme Court finds school principal guilty of sexual abuseBy Roni Singer, Tsahar Rotem and Yuval Yoaz
Haaretz - February 19, 2004 Shvat 27, 5764

A Haifa elementary school principal was found guilty by the Supreme Court this week of sexually abusing students, aged 8-11, in 1999.

The suspect was originally acquitted by the Haifa District Court, but was convicted of abusing his position. The Supreme Court has sent the case back to the District Court for sentencing.

The charge sheet states that one afternoon, the principal called three students into his office and ordered them to take off their trousers. He then asked them if they felt ashamed and allegedly touched the genitals of one of the students, and asked him if he enjoyed it.

On another occasion, the suspect ordered an 11-year-old to strip and then touched his genitals. He also allegedly used to ask students to check that they had been circumcized.

Also this week, Netanya police arrested a 30-year-old resident who is suspected of abusing his wife's four siblings, three girls aged 5, 8 and 12 and a 3-year-old boy.

Police launched the investigation following a family discussion on Saturday night during which two of the girls alleged that their brother-in-law had touched their private parts over a period of a few weeks about half a year ago.

The children's grandfather then filed a complaint with police, and the four children were questioned, with them explaining to officers what the suspect allegedly did to them. He was arrested on Tuesday and denies the allegations.

The man and his wife lived with her parents for some time and police believe that that is when he allegedly abused the children.

Netanya police said the suspect has been released to house arrest at a relative's home, outside the city. Police expect to indict him soon. Some four months ago, the man's 23-year-old wife filed a complaint with police that her husband had beaten her. The man has been under house arrest since and the couple has divorced.

At the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court yesterday, a 30-year-old yachting instructor from Herzliya was remanded in custody until Sunday on suspicion of abusing four 11-year-olds. The judge took the rare decision himself of issuing a gag order on publication of the suspect's name and photograph.

The suspect worked for six years as an instructor at a yachting club in the Herzliya marina. One of the children who goes to the youth club told his parents recently that the instructor had done some things with which he was not comfortable. The child eventually told his parents that the instructor would allegedly touch his genitals, and the parents filed a complaint with police.

The parents also spoke with the parents of other children in the boy's group and another three children came forward with similar complaints as a result.

Police said yesterday that since the suspect has worked at the club for a number of years, they will look into whether other children were also possibly abused by the man.

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